How can I get my gorgeous natural red back?

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I started dying my hair brown after a really bad break up about four and a half years ago. My natural hair colour is a gorgeous red, which I now want to get back!

I've had my hair chemically stripped twice, and am slowly managing to get the colour to a lighter shade of brown. However I am still spending so much money getting my hair done every two months.

The hairdresser I go to has told me I only have two options, which are:

1. To leave it and let the natural regrowth keep growing out.

2. Dye the regrowth a lighter shade of brown using a semi-permanent dye, and only get the roots done.

Whilst it is working, it is such a slow process. I'm just wondering if there is another way I can get back to my natural colour faster. I'm getting married in a year and I really want my natural red back before then.

Thank you in advance,

Anon, Australia

You can cleanse your hair again to get a lighter shade that will be light enough to apply a red toned colour, one that is most similar to your natural colour. From here you can either keep that process going or let it grow out from there, as it will be a similar colour to your natural colour and not as harsh as the regrowth.

I would only recommend this if your hair is having regular conditioning treatments and you're using professional shampoos and conditioners to maintain your hair's condition.

Leah Butler, Owner of Leah Durrant Hair Salon, Chertsey 

Hello Australia,

I can imagine that you’re going through a frustrating time with your hair, but there are several ways to get your red back.

One way is to be patient and stop colouring your hair altogether, giving your natural red a chance to grow back. Hair grows 1cm per month, so in 12 months your natural red would be 12cm long. Keep cutting your hair regularly to keep the style looking good - the more you cut the quicker your natural red will show.

Option two is to find a really great colourist in your area who is talented enough to match your red hair growing now on your roots to the ends, without having to keep colouring your red roots.

I don't know how long your hair is or what your hair texture is (curly or straight), or what the condition of your hair is like, but to start with I would work on conditioning your hair with specialist, professional only reconstructing treatments that are available to you in Australia.

Also I do not understand why your hairdresser is colouring your roots a light brown if red is what you are after?

If you where my client I would first check the condition of your hair, then I would like to see what shade of red your roots actually are. I would also definitely not touch the roots with a permanent or semi-permanent colour since you want your natural red back.

Option three, the quick way to the red you want. If it was me I would ask you not to colour your hair for four months so that I can see your natural colour clearly. I would then match the lengths to the roots without colouring the roots. Only the rest of your hair may need lightening before adding the red permanent tint.

A really creative colourist can do this work quite easily. Red normally takes on most hair well. I would tell your hairdresser not to touch your roots again with colour. If he/she does, you may never get your natural red back. It's Illogical to keep colouring the roots considering you want to have your natural gorgeous red back??

Option four, stop colouring all together and let you hair naturally grow back. If your hair is curly the different colours can look quite nice until your hair has grown enough to show your gorgeous red off. But you will need to have it cut regularly to achieve this.

As mentioned above hair grows 1 cm each month, so by the time you get married your red roots will be at least 12 cm long, so you should have your natural red back.

If your hair is straight a good cut can also help. To help hide the different colours, curl your hair with curlers or curling irons, it will hide the roots until they are long enough to show off. Once your roots are long enough, cut the remainder of the brown colour away and bingo, you go home with your natural gorgeous red hair.  

Whichever way your chose, I wish you a happy and gorgeous red-headed wedding day next year :)

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester 

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